Source: Zapu accuses govt of frustrating developmental projects in Mat’land – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 23, 2017
DUMISO Dabengwa’s opposition Zapu party has accused the Zanu PF government of frustrating mega developmental projects in Matabeleland region as part of its “scorched earth policy” to keep the region marginalised and underdeveloped.
BY SILAS NKALA
Zapu deputy spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa yesterday told Southern Eye that several giant projects earmarked for the region, among them the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWT), have remained on the drawing board with government citing flimsy excuses for their non-completion.
“The dragging of feet by the government on the project gives flesh to the long held suspicion that the government does all in their power to stall development and progress of all Matabeleland-initiated programmes,” he said.
“Other examples that come to mind are the Ekusileni Medical Centre that has been turned into a white elephant and the Nuanetsi Irrigation Project.”
Dabengwa once served as chairperson of the MZWT to spearhead the water project which is viewed as a lasting solution to the region’s perennial water woes.
Maphosa claimed that the MZWT was initiated by a group of local people, then known as Matabeleland Action Group (MAG), before the idea was hijacked and politicised by the Zanu PF regime.
“The correct information is that the trust was constituted by MAG in 1990 as a board and migrated and expanded to MZWT in 1993. Zanu PF is actually against MZWP. Proof is their concentration on Mtshabezi Pipeline and any other project besides the Gwayi Shangani Dam project. The major reason is they are aware of the economic benefits along the route when the project comes to finality,” Maphosa said.
“Then we come to Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (former Water minister) who totally failed to comprehend the project entirely as a citizen of Matabeleland. After diverting the money from MZWT to Tokwe Mukosi Dam, he should have returned the project back to the people of Matabeleland after he nationalised it under the false pretext of funding to the tune of $800 million.”
He said Nkomo’s actions confirmed that he was part and parcel of those delaying the project.
“Zapu does not expect the Mugabe-led government to contribute anything towards the project, for this government has displayed unwillingness to work on it. Their systematic settling of Zanu PF supporters along the green belt is a clandestine way of hijacking the benefits when the people of Matabeleland finally completes the project,” he said.
“Even (former Vice-President) Joice Mujuru as Minister of Water also showed intention to take over the project,” he said.